Small World Exercise

Small world networks were inspired by the sociological phenomenon of "six degrees of separation": the network of human friendships is thought to link random pairs of humans through a remarkably small number of first-name basis relationships (you know someone who knows someone who ... who knows someone who was struck by a meteor, just like the dinosaurs). This simple model has been studied perhaps too thoroughly, but remains a nice introduction both to random network construction, to breadth-first search algorithms, and to scaling collapses. Your resulting software can then also be applied to real-world networks.



James P. Sethna, Christopher R. Myers.

Last modified: August 24, 2006

Statistical Mechanics: Entropy, Order Parameters, and Complexity, now available at Oxford University Press (USA, Europe).